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Fall 1997 · Vol. 26 No. 2 · p. 90 

Recommended Reading

On J. B. Toews

Henry J. Schmidt

J. B. Toews, A Pilgrimage of Faith: The Mennonite Brethren Church in Russia and North America 1860-1990. Winnipeg, MB and Hillsboro, KS: Kindred, 1993. 376 pages.

This volume provides a biblical and theological framework for the Mennonite Brethren search for identity amid rapid cultural changes in the late-twentieth century. Section 1 provides a brief historical background of the birth of the Mennonite Brethren Church in Russia, a phenomenon of renewal. Section 2 outlines the history and theology of the early MB Church from 1860 to 1915. Section 3, “A Time of Transition,” recounts the move to North America with particular focus on MB education. The final section is an analysis of how the MB Church, in its historical and theological development, has dealt with such issues as denominational identity, modernity, leadership, evangelism, mission and discipleship. Reviewed (twice) in Direction 23 (Fall 1994).

J. B. Toews, J B: The Autobiography of a Twentieth-Century Mennonite Pilgrim. Fresno, CA: Center for Mennonite Brethren Studies, 1995. 208 pages.

The autobiography of J. B. Toews’ personal and denominational pilgrimage as person, student, teacher, preacher, leader, mission executive, and seminary president. Beginning in Russia, it is a fascinating story of people and events that simultaneously shaped J. B. as a person and the Mennonite Brethren Church. It portrays J. B.’s humanity with candor and addresses issues facing an immigrant people and church in their new North American context. Reviewed in Direction 25 (Spring 1996).

Henry J. Schmidt is president of Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary, Fresno, California.

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